Here are 30 Pakistani & North Indian dinner recipes that are wholesome, easy-to-make, and 100% delicious! All of these recipes are tested-and-perfected and loved by thousands. This post includes restaurant-famous recipes like Butter Chicken and Chicken Biryani as well as a few lesser-known recipes like Chicken Pulao or Zucchini (Courgette) Curry.

Cover image for 30+ Indian & Pakistani Dinner Recipes.

A few years ago, my blog was lucky to be a finalist for the Saveur Blog Awards in the Most Inspired Dinner Recipes category. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that the majority of the recipes on my blog are in fact dinner recipes. I realized this is a reflection of my preferences as a Pakistani-American. In many areas I’m more American than Pakistani, but when it comes to dinner, I find South Asian main dishes to be the most satisfying meals in the world.

This roundup includes the top 30+ dinner recipes on my blog. It features a wide range of recipes including vegetarian recipes, rice dishes, chicken, and meat recipes. The majority of these are one-pot, quick and easy recipes that require no fancy techniques or special ingredients.

What is a typical Indian Dinner?

North Indian and Pakistani dinners usually consist of one main dish. This main dish (or curry, for simplicity) can be as straightforward as a dal or as elaborate as korma. In South Asian cuisine, you’ll find the main dish is almost always served along with a carb such as roti, rice, or naan.

  • If the main dish has plenty of sauce or ‘curry’, you can serve it with either basmati rice or flatbread.
  • For curries on the ‘drier’ side, you’ll typically need flatbread such as naan, roti, or paratha.
  • If the main dish itself is a rice dish such as biryani, you can serve alone along with yogurt or raita.

You can also serve small accompaniments such as chopped vegetables, raita, achar, or chutney along with the dinner.

What to serve with these dinner recipes

These recipes make complete meals when paired with rotinaan, paratha, or basmati rice. However, you can substitute roti or naan with other flatbreads such as pita bread or tortillas. You can also use any type of rice in place of basmati rice.

Vegetarian Recipes (Takeout Favorites!)

Authentic Chana Masala garnished with cilantro and julienned ginger in a black skillet

Authentic Chana Masala (Indian Chickpea Curry)

4.95 (37 ratings)
This authentic Indian & Pakistani-style Chana Masala recipe is vibrant, with just the right amount of tanginess, and rich in spicy flavor. This recipe makes tender, flavorful chickpeas in a perfectly spiced curry and requires simple ingredients that are commonly used in South Asian cooking. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that’s healthy, naturally vegan, and gluten-free.
Check out this recipe
Baingan Bharta (Oven-Roasted Eggplant Curry) in a speckled bowl with naan and garnished cilantro.

Easy Baingan Bharta (Oven Roasted/Broiled Eggplant Curry)

5 (21 ratings)
Baingan Bharta is a prized Indian and Pakistani (Punjabi) dish. It consists of roasted eggplant in a delicately spiced dry curry. This recipe includes instructions on how to broil it in the oven, plus some essential tips on how to get it to taste amazing!
Check out this recipe
Spinach and Potato Curry (Aloo Palak) in a white bowl with roti

Spinach and Potato Curry – Aloo Palak (Easy & Authentic)

5 (41 ratings)
This quick and easy Spinach & Potato (Aloo Palak) curry recipe is healthy, full of authentic flavor, and naturally vegetarian (or vegan, if you omit the ghee). This curry is unique in that the potatoes boil on the side while you're preparing the curry, reducing any extra time to wait on the potatoes.
Check out this recipe
Holding a plate of chana dal with a spoon in it

Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Dal

5 (14 ratings)
This is an easy Pakistani Chana Dal made in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker). Chana Dal (or Split Chickpeas) are cooked with spices and given a simple tadka for an easy dinner. Naturally gluten-free and Vegan optional.
Check out this recipe
Mixed Vegetable Curry in a bowl with roti inside

Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry

5 (24 ratings)
This Easy Mixed Vegetable Curry is perfect as a weeknight dinner or side dish. It comes together with very little effort with ingredients you have on hand. Vegan and Gluten-Free!
Check out this recipe
Aloo Gobi Potato Cauliflower curry

Pakistani Aloo Gobi – Potato and Cauliflower Curry

5 (19 ratings)
This Pakistani Aloo Gobi curry recipe is authentic, juicy, and mouthwatering thanks to a surprising touch of umami. Naturally gluten-free and vegan!
Check out this recipe
A white bowl filled with Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal, Basmati rice, ribbon of cucumber, sliced carrots and radishes and a lemon wedge.

Instant Pot Red Lentil Dal

5 (8 ratings)
This Instant Pot Split Red Lentil (Masoor) Dal curry is a quick, easy, and authentic Pakistani/North Indian-style dal recipe. It's naturally gluten-free, vegetarian (or optional vegan), and cooks within minutes!
Check out this recipe
Okra Curry on a white plate

Easy & Authentic Bhindi Masala (Okra Curry)

5 (14 ratings)
This easy Pakistani & Indian-style Bhindi Masala recipe (Okra curry) consists of stir-fried okra enveloped in a savory onion and tomato curry. I’ve tested this dry bhindi curry recipe countless times and I’m confident it will blow you away.
Check out this recipe

Rice Recipes

Chicken Biryani on a gold-trimmed platter with a silver rice spoon resting on the side

Pakistani Chicken Biryani (The BEST!)

5 (90 ratings)
An uncomplicated yet authentic Chicken Biryani recipe with simple, easy-to-follow instructions (no curveballs!) and mouthwatering, traditional Pakistani and Indian flavor. Tested to perfection!
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Chicken Pulao in a bowl garnished with cilantro.

Instant Pot Chicken Pulao

4.91 (31 ratings)
This quick and easy Instant Pot Chicken Pulao recipe requires just 25 minutes of prep time and results in tender boneless chicken and perfectly cooked rice.
Check out this recipe
Easy Instant Pot Chana Pulao

Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Pulao (Chickpea Pilaf) – 20-minute prep!

4.96 (42 ratings)
This Instant Pot Pakistani Chana Pulao is easy, flavorful, and it takes less than 20 minutes of total prep time! Perfect for a weeknight dinner yet elegant enough for guests. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian! 
Check out this recipe

Chicken Curry Recipes

Authentic Chicken Curry in a dutch oven garnished with cilantro

Authentic Chicken Curry (Easy Chicken Salan)

5 (5 ratings)
An Authentic Chicken Curry (or Chicken Salan) recipe made in the traditional Pakistani and North Indian style. This is a simple, one-pot curry recipe that you can make in under an hour. This recipe includes instructions for using bone-in or boneless chicken.
Check out this recipe
Holding Chicken Karahi in a karahi

Pakistani Chicken Karahi

5 (87 ratings)
This is a restaurant-style Pakistani Chicken Karahi recipe that can be prepared quickly and easily with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
Saucy Chicken Shashlik with bell peppers and onions in a black skillet with a white napkin underneath

Chicken Shashlik (Saucy with Gravy) – Indo-Chinese Recipe

5 (13 ratings)
Chicken Shashlik is an Indo-Chinese recipe that's made with boneless chicken, bell peppers, and onion. Similar to Chicken Manchurian, this dish is coated in a sweet and spicy gravy that's bursting with flavor. This is an easy, kid-friendly weeknight dinner that can be made quickly and easily with pantry staples.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Butter Chicken Side

Instant Pot Butter Chicken (Easy and Authentic)

5 (25 ratings)
This tried-and-tested restaurant-style Instant Pot Butter Chicken recipe is easy to prepare yet yields authentic, deep flavor and tender chicken!
Check out this recipe
Chicken Korma in a large pot with a wooden spoon.

The BEST Authentic Chicken Korma

4.91 (40 ratings)
This is a warm, deeply flavorful Chicken Korma recipe that has all the authentic flavor with simple, easy-to-follow instructions. Tested & perfected!!
Check out this recipe
A bowl of Coconut Chicken Curry with Potatoes with a golden spoon.

Coconut Chicken Curry with Potatoes

5 (18 ratings)
This coconut chicken curry with potatoes is made from scratch in the Pakistani & North Indian style and uses coconut milk to give it a korma-like finish. This recipe uses clean, wholesome ingredients and good-for-you spices that you likely have on hand!
Check out this recipe
Closeup of Achari Chicken garnished with green chili and julienned ginger

Easy Achari Chicken

5 (8 ratings)
This is an easy, fuss-free, yet flavorful recipe for Achari Chicken, or Indian and Pakistani chicken curry made with pickling spices.
Check out this recipe
Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry

Baked Tandoori Chicken Curry (Easy & Authentic)

4.87 (22 ratings)
This Oven-Baked Tandoori Chicken curry recipe is so simple, but tastes like you spent hours on it. 20 minutes of prep time only! Easy and authentic, with no finicky steps.
Check out this recipe
Spicy Cashew Chicken in a skillet with a wooden spoon

Spicy Cashew Chicken (Indo-Chinese Style)

5 (13 ratings)
Here's a quick and easy 25-minute Spicy Cashew Chicken recipe with an Indo-Chinese twist. This recipe includes tips on how to get tender chicken and gives intense, yet balanced flavor! Gluten-free adaptable!
Check out this recipe

Beef and Keema Recipes

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry-2

Pakistani Beef Kofta Curry (Meatball Curry)

4.96 (64 ratings)
Beef Kofta Curry, or simply kofte, is a traditional Pakistani curry made of tender meatballs simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce. This recipe has all the authentic flavor of old-fashioned kofte but it’s made in an easier, more approachable way.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Pakistani-style Haleem made with beef and grains in a white bowl with wooden spoon and garnishing

Easy Pakistani Haleem Recipe (Instant Pot)

4.94 (16 ratings)
This Pakistani-style Haleem recipe is authentic, full of classic flavor, and the perfect consistency…Yet easy to achieve in the Instant Pot.
Check out this recipe
Keema Matar

Keema Matar (Ground Beef and Peas Curry)

5 (26 ratings)
This Pakistani and Indian-style Keema Matar (Ground Beef and Peas Curry) is an easy, one-pot keema recipe that’s deeply flavorful with no whole spices used. This recipe also includes tips on how to make Keema curry with ground chicken.
Check out this recipe
Seekh Kebab garnished with cilantro on a white plate

Pakistani Seekh Kebab (Ground Beef Skewers)

5 (11 ratings)
A simple, uncomplicated Seekh Kebab recipe made with ingredients you likely have on hand. This recipe includes tips on how to make flavorful, tender kebabs that don't break or fall off the skewers. Includes pan-frying, baking, and air-frying instructions.
Check out this recipe
Easy Instant Pot Nihari

Easy Instant Pot Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)

5 (25 ratings)
This Instant Pot Nihari recipe takes 30 minutes of prep time but does not compromise on the authentic taste of this traditional Pakistani Beef Stew! Layers of flavor in every bite!
Check out this recipe
Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and potato curry) in a bowl with basmati rice and naan.

Aloo Keema (Ground Beef and Potato Curry)

5 (25 ratings)
Here's a recipe for an authentic, homestyle, Pakistani & North Indian style Aloo Keema (Keema Curry with potatoes). This is a traditional, one-pot recipe that's simple, easy-to make, and gives the most flavorful results!
Check out this recipe
A white plate with Shami Kebab alongside a bowl of raita, lemon wedge and garnished with mint leaves.

Easy Shami Kebab (Instant Pot and Stovetop)

4.93 (27 ratings)
Shami kebabs are tender patties made with beef and (yellow split peas) along with onion, herbs and spices. This recipe includes Instant Pot and stovetop instructions! Naturally gluten-free!
Check out this recipe

Homestyle Recipes

Sarson Ka Saag with a dollop of butter on a plate with spoons and makai ki roti on the side

Easy Sarson Ka Saag (Instant Pot & Stovetop)

4.91 (11 ratings)
This Easy Instant Pot Sarson Ka Saag recipe is made in the Authentic Indian and Pakistani (Punjabi) style but in half the time! Stovetop instructions included. Vegetarian/Vegan optional!
Check out this recipe
Zucchini Courgette Curry in a bowl

Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry | Toriyan (Torai ki Sabzi)

4.98 (93 ratings)
This is an easy, flavorful, fan-favorite Indian and Pakistani Zucchini (Courgette) Curry called Toriyan or torai ki sabzi in Urdu. This is a tasty vegan curry that'll transform everyday Zucchini into something even kids will love!
Check out this recipe
Lentil Dal in a plate

Instant Pot Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil Curry)

5 (6 ratings)
Whole Masoor Dal (Brown Lentil Curry) recipe made quick and easy in the Instant Pot. This is a no-soak (unless you want to), dump-and-go recipe you can make using any brown lentils. Healthy and flavorful with only 15 minutes of total hands-on time! Naturally vegetarian and vegan optional.
Check out this recipe
Pakistani Beef Curry (Stew) in a bowl on top of a plate with naan

Easy Instant Pot Pakistani Beef Curry (Stew)

5 (24 ratings)
This Instant Pot Pakistani Beef Curry, or stew, is an easy recipe in which boneless beef stew meat is cooked alongside yogurt and whole spices. Also called Istu, or Ishto, this is a deeply flavorful yet healthy, dump-and-go Instant Pot beef recipe.
Check out this recipe
Authentic Chicken Curry in a dutch oven garnished with cilantro
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30+ Indian & Pakistani Dinner Recipes, Including Authentic Chicken Curry

An Authentic Chicken Curry (or Chicken Salan) recipe made in the traditional Pakistani and North Indian style. Plus, check out 29 more Indian and Pakistani dinner recipes!

Ingredients 

  • 1/3-1/2 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or avocado
  • 2 small to medium (~320-350g ) yellow onions, quartered
  • 6-8 (~1 tbsp) garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 inch (~1 tbsp) ginger, crushed
  • 2 lbs (907 g) bone-in, cut up, skinless chicken, cleaned and excess skin removed (See Note 1)
  • 2 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1-2 small green chili peppers (such as Serrano or Thai chili), stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 small (~200 g) tomatoes (I use Roma), quartered

Whole spices

  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 whole black peppercorns
  • 3-4 whole cloves

Ground spices

  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes, optional
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Garnishing

  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2-3 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions 

  • Place the onions in a food processor and use the pulse function to chop finely but not blend.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium-high or high heat (depending on your stove). Once hot, add the oil and chopped onions. Sauté until the onions turn golden (~12-15 min). Meanwhile, in the same food processor, add the tomatoes and pulse to chop into a rough purée. Deglaze the pan with 2 tbsp of water.
  • Once the water dries up, add the garlic and ginger and sauté until the raw smell disappears and the onions deepen in color (~1 min). If needed, deglaze the pan again with 2 tbsp of water. Add the chicken and 1/4 tsp salt and fry it until it changes color, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the whole spices, ground spices, remaining salt (2 tsp), and green chili pepper. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Deglaze the pan if the bits start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the tomatoes and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until you can see the oil separating from the curry. Add 1 3/4 – 2* (see Note 2) cups of water and stir to mix. Cover the pan to bring to a gentle boil.
  • Once it begins to boil, turn the heat down to a simmer (low or low-medium). Cover and allow the curry to cook for 25 minutes, stirring once in between. The chicken should be very tender. Taste and add salt, if needed. Uncover and continue to allow the chicken to simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the oil rises to the top.
  • Turn off the heat. Garnish with garam masala and cilantro. Serve with rice, roti, or naan.

Video

Notes

Note 1: See post for how to make this with boneless chicken breast or thighs. 
Note 2: Adjust water amount according to how much curry/salan you prefer. Keep in mind the chicken and tomatoes will also release their moisture.
 
 
Calories: 384kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 29g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Sodium: 961mg, Potassium: 527mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 1mg